Thousands of people in NSW will be forced to spend Christmas in isolation after coming into close contact with a known case of COVID-19 in Sydney’s most recent outbreak

NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian on Tuesday called on the state to “turn our thoughts and attention to people” who bear the “greater burden” of Christmas isolation

“We think of you and thank you because your safety protects you and your loved ones [and it] helps all of us in the state,” she said

Steve Cole, who visits a hotspot gym in Avalon, has to stay away from his kids when they are opening their presents on Christmas morning

“One of the hardest things to know is that I can’t be around the kids,” said Cole

Mr. Cole lives in a separate bedroom and bathroom that has been separated from his wife and two children since Anytime Fitness was named a hotspot in Avalon

They had planned to spend Christmas in Bowral with an extended family, but had to cancel their plans

“It could be a far worse situation so you just have to put it on your chin and really do your best,” said Mr. Cole

“Yeah, it’s frustrating, but it’s not about you as an individual, it’s about the wider community, it’s about everyone else”

Another fitness user, Gemma Eastwood, was upset when she realized she had to isolate herself after encountering a case at Fitness First in Mona Vale

Their two children are spending Christmas with their father, so Ms. Eastwood had planned to patrol Newport Beach and celebrate the end of the year with friends

“It’s difficult not to have them I originally planned to meet up with some friends and do lots of life-saving patrols, “she said

In a statement, NSW Health confirmed that “many thousands of people in NSW are in self-isolation”

“We know that it is difficult for people especially at this time of year,” said the spokesman

Yesterday, NSW’s chief health officer, Kerry Chant urged people to abide by the 14-day isolation rules, which prohibit people from leaving the home (except in an emergency) and being in close proximity to others

“Even if you had a negative test today, you can be positive tomorrow, you can develop symptoms tomorrow, so it’s incredibly important that you stay in that isolation,” she said

“They don’t want to be the reason the transmission is spreading to the community, they want to protect loved ones”

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World News – AU – ‘You just have to wear it on your chin’: Steve needs to stay away from his kids this Christmas